blogs: New Family Law Act - major changes to division of property and debt - 06/10/13 05:09 PM
The new Family Law Act came into force on March 18, 2013, replacing the outdated Family Relations Act (1979). The legislation was developed after consultation with more than 500 organizations, community groups, the legal community and other stakeholders.
It aims to meet the changing needs of families, including common-law families, which are growing at a rate four times faster than married couples, according to the BC Ministry of Justice.
Property division
Under the old Family Relations Act, when a married couple separated, assets including
property owned by one spouse before the marriage were subject to presumptively equal division unless the court found grounds to “reapportion” property and … (0 comments)

blogs: Spring delivers greater balance to Greater Vancouver housing market - 05/12/13 04:35 PM
A closer relationship between home buyer demand and the supply of homes for sale has been having a stabilizing impact on home prices in the Greater Vancouver housing market over the last three months.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 2,627 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in April 2013. This represents a 6.1 per cent decrease compared to the 2,799 sales recorded in April 2012, and an11.9 per cent increase compared to the 2,347 sales in March 2013.
Last month’s sales equate to the lowest April total in the … (0 comments)

blogs: Saying Good-bye to Nasty Neighbours - 05/12/13 04:30 PM
Saying Good-bye to Nasty Neighbours—New Community Safety Act  takes aim at problem properties
Increasingly in our neighbourhoods there are problem properties where persistent, unlawful and dangerous activities threaten neighbourhood safety and security.
There properties may be derelict, or the site of criminal and nuisance activities such as drug production and trafficking, prostitution, unlawful liquor sales, child abuse, unlawful weapons or explosives, and activities conducted by gangs and organized crime.
Now, new provincial legislation introduce on February 21, 2013 promises to target and shut down these properties which:
Adversely affect the health, safety or security of one or more persons in the … (1 comments)

blogs: The 2% BC Transition Tax on new homes is coming April 1, 2013 - 04/16/13 03:35 PM
If you will be buying a new home in the next few months or over the next two years, then you need to know about the 2% BC Transition Tax.
It is a new tax that comes into effect on April 1, 2013. It will apply to the sale of new residential homes that are 10% or more complete as of April 1, 2013. The 2% BC Transition Tax will end on March 31, 2015.
The 2% BC Transition Tax applies to the full price of a new home, which is 10% of more complete, where ownership or possession is on … (0 comments)

blogs: Home sale activity improves but remains below historical averages - 04/11/13 01:50 PM
Lower levels of both supply and demand in recent months are holding home prices in check in the Greater Vancouver housing market.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 2,347 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in March 2013. This represents an 18.3 per cent decrease compared to the 2,874 sales recorded in March 2012, and a 30.6 per cent increase compared to the 1,797 sales in February 2013.
Last month’s sales were the second lowest March total in the region since 2001 and 30.2 per cent below the 10-year sales average for the month.
While … (1 comments)

blogs: Greater Vancouver residential property sale and listing activity - 12/06/12 03:08 AM
Greater vancouver residential property sale and listing activity below 10-year averages in November
Over the past six months, the Greater Vancouver housing market has seen a reduction in the number of homes listed for sale, a gradual moderation in home prices and a decrease in property sales compared to historical averages.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales of detached, attached and apartment properties reached 1,686 on the region’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in November, a 28.6 per cent decline compared to the 2,360 sales in November 2011 and a 12.7 per cent decline compared … (0 comments)

blogs: Information about the HST/PST new housing transitional rules - 12/05/12 07:16 AM
October 24, 2012 (Revised)
The province will transition back to the Provincial Sales Tax (PST), which will replace the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), on April 1, 2013. Until then, the province has transitional rules for new homes which took effect on April 1, 2012.
 
Note: This information is current to October 24, 2012 and has been verified with the Canada Revenue Agency, GST/HST Rulings Branch. However, we have been advised that the information could change depending on HST rulings to come.
 
Enhanced New Housing Rebate
Effective April 1, 2012, your clients may be eligible for a provincial enhanced New Housing … (0 comments)

blogs: Interesting Mortgage Statistics - 11/21/12 07:12 AM
Among all mortgage holders, 65% have fixed rate mortgages, 28% have variable rate mortgages and 7% have a combination.
For mortgages in 2012, there has been a significant shift to fixed rate mortgages - 79% are fixed, 10% are variable and 11% are a combination of both.
68% of mortgages obtained during 2012 have amortization periods of 25 years or less.
32% of mortgage holders are making significant efforts to accelerate repayments, including taking one or more of the following actions in the past year:• 16% have voluntarily increased their monthly payments.• 15% have made a lump sum contribution to their … (0 comments)

blogs: Housing market sees slight changes in October - 11/08/12 07:29 AM
The Greater Vancouver housing market saw a slight increase in the number of home sales, a slight reduction in the number of listings, and a slight decrease in home prices in October compared to the summer months. With those changes, the sales-to-active-listings ratio increased to 11 per cent in October from 8 per cent in September.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reported 1,931 residential property sales of detached, attached and apartment properties on the region’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in October, a 16.7 per cent decline compared to the 2,317 sales in October 2011 and a 27.4 per … (0 comments)

blogs: Some Fast Facts About Richmond - 10/24/12 09:14 AM
HistoryRichmond was incorporated on November 10, 1879 and designated as a city on December 3, 1990. Historical industries include fishing, salmon canning, boat building, agriculture - dairy and berry production, aviation, export, and service. The founding cultures are First Nations, British European, Japanese, and Chinese.
GovernmentThe model of government in Richmond consists the Mayor and eight Councillors elected at large. The major awards won by city are Nations in Bloom 1999; Communities in Bloom, Canada - 1998; National; and Environment Award for Terra Nova Rural Park, 2008. Richmond’s twinning cities are Wakayama, Japan and Pierrefont, Quebec, Canada.
GeographyRichmond’s land area is … (0 comments)

blogs: Grant for new secondary or recreational homes available - 10/05/12 04:01 AM
If your you buy a new or substantially renovated secondary or recreational home in BC, but outside of Greater Vancouver or Victoria, before April 1, 2013, they may qualify for a provincial grant for the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).
The grant for new secondary or recreational housing is directly administered by the BC Ministry of Finance.
This grant should not be confused with the BC New Housing Rebate available for new residential homes bought as a primary residence, and administered by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
The grant for new secondary or recreation housing is 71.43% of the provincial portion of the HST paid … (0 comments)

blogs: Alternative dispute resolution for stratas coming - 10/03/12 08:15 AM
Resolving strata disputes will soon become faster, more accessible and more affordable thanks to recent provincial legislation.
Bill 44: The Civil Resolution Tribunal Act, which passed earlier this year, creates an independent body, the Civil Resolution Tribunal, which will provide dispute resolution tools as an alternative to going to court. The tribunal is expected to be operational by 2014.
This is welcome news for the Board, which together with BC Real Estate Association (BCREA) had, for many years, voiced concerns about strata property legislation.
In 2008, BCREA invited member Boards and REALTORSÒ to provide feedback. A key concern from REGBV members … (0 comments)

blogs: New Legislation will open doors to Development on First Nations Lands - 08/07/12 05:37 AM
Investors and developers planning to do business on reserve land will find it easier thanks to new provincial legislation. Bill 43, the First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act (FNCIDA) Implementation Act, introduced in the BC Legislature on May 3, 2012, will create certainty for business by enabling provincial laws and regulations to apply to major commercial, industrial and residential project on First Nations lands.
Currently, provincial laws and regulations don't apply to reserve lands. First Nations lands are under the jurisdiction of the federal government and only the federal government has the authority to make laws for “Indians, and Lands reserved … (0 comments)

blogs: Ottawa caps CMHC mortgages at 25 years - 07/10/12 07:53 AM
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has outlined new rules aimed at reining in a hot housing market and ensuring Canadians aren't taking on more debt than they can afford.
Flaherty laid out a series of changes to the rules that govern the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the Crown Corporation that effectively oversees the housing market by insuring the vast majority of Canadian mortgages.
The most important new change is that the maximum amortization period has been reduced to 25 years, down from 30. The longer a mortgage is spread out, the lower the monthly mortgage payments are — but the more … (0 comments)

blogs: Greater Vancouver & Richmond housing market favoured buyers in June - 07/09/12 09:41 AM
The number of residential property sales hit a 10-year low in Greater Vancouver for June, while prices remained relatively stable.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales of detached, attached and apartment properties reached 2,362 in June, a 27.6 per cent decline compared to the 3,262 sales in June 2011 and a 17.2 per cent decline compared to the 2,853 sales in May 2012.
June sales were the lowest total for the month in the region since 2000 and 32.2 per cent below the 10-year June sales average of 3,484.
Overall conditions have trended in … (0 comments)

blogs: Spring Activity Balanced in the Greater Vancouver/Falling in Richmond - 06/08/12 03:18 AM
The number of properties listed for sale continued to increase in the Greater Vancouver housing market in May. The number of sales decreased year over year, but remained relatively constant compared to recent months.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 2,853 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in May 2012. This represents a 15.5 per cent decline compared to the 3,377 sales recorded in May 2011.
May sales were the lowest total for the month in the region since 2001 and 21.1 per cent below the 10-year May sales average … (0 comments)

blogs: Greater Vancouver Housing Market Maintains a Steady Spring Pace - 05/08/12 09:43 AM
Home sale and listing activity has maintained a consistent pace on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Greater Vancouver in recent months, which has helped create balanced conditions for the region’s housing market.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 2,799 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in April 2012. This represents a 13.2 per cent decline compared to the 3,225 sales recorded in April 2011 and a decline of 2.6 per cent compared to the 2,874 sales in March 2012. 
April sales were the lowest total for the month in … (0 comments)

blogs: Increased selection helps maintain balance in Greater Vancouver housing market - 04/13/12 03:21 AM
Home sales in March trended below the 10-year average in Greater Vancouver while home listing activity outpaced what’s typical for the month.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 2,874 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in March 2012. This represents a 12.9 per cent increase compared to the 2,545 sales recorded in February 2012, a decline of 29.6 per cent compared to the 4,080 sales in March 2011 and an 8.4 per cent decline compared to the 3,137 home sales in March 2010.
March sales in Greater Vancouver were the … (0 comments)

blogs: Greater Vancouver housing market trends near long-term averages as spring market approaches - 03/14/12 09:38 AM
Closer alignment between home buyer and seller activity helped bring greater balance to the Greater Vancouver housing market in February.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 2,545 on the MLS® system in February 2012. This represents a 61.4 per cent increase compared to the 1,577 sales recorded in January 2012, a decline of 17.8 per cent compared to the 3,097 sales in February 2011 and a 2.9 per cent increase from the 2,473 home sales in February 2010.
February sales in Greater Vancouver were the third lowest February total in … (0 comments)

blogs: Government announces new HST/PST housing transitional rules - 02/21/12 02:13 AM
The government today announced the HST/PST transitional rules on new homes.
As the province transitions back to the PST, which will replace the HST effective April 1, 2013, measures to ease the HST burden on new home buyers include:
The BC New Housing Rebate threshold will increase to $850,000 from $525,000, so that more than 90% of newly built homes will now be eligible for a provincial HST rebate effective April 1, 2012. The maximum rebate will increase to $42,500 from $26,250 effective April 1, 2012. Buyers of new secondary vacation or recreational homes outside the Greater Vancouver and Capital Regional Districts … (0 comments)